Huntington Beach, CA, March 27th, 2018
On June 23rd, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Cal/OSHA will be enforcing the new final rule for respirable crystalline silica in general industry and maritime. The new standard for these industries follows enforcement actions for controlling construction worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica that went into effect last year.
The new federal standard for general industry and maritime will require employers to:
- Measure the amount of silica that workers are exposed to if it may be at or above an action level of 25 μg/m3 (micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an 8-hour day;
- Protect workers from respirable crystalline silica exposures above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 μg/m3, averaged over an 8-hour day;
- Limit workers’ access to areas where they could be exposed above the PEL;
- Use dust controls to protect workers from silica exposures above the PEL;
- Provide respirators to workers when dust controls cannot limit exposures to the PEL;
- Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available;
- Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers;
- Offer medical exams (including chest X-rays and lung function tests) every three years for workers exposed at or above the action level for 30 or more days per year;
- Train workers on work operations that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure; and
- Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and medical exams.
“OSHA reports that approximately 295,000 workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in over 75,000 general industry and maritime workplaces,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Exposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause silicosis, lung cancer, other respiratory diseases and kidney disease. The agency estimates that currently, over 100,000 workers in general industry and maritime occupations are exposed to silica levels that exceed the new permissible exposure limit.”
Companies that fall under these categories have a little over 3 months to get into compliance with the new standard or face potential penalties. LA Testing has been busy helping West Coast compa nies and institutions prepare for the upcoming enforcement date with industrial hygiene testing services, sampling supplies, real-time monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). LA Testing also recently sponsored an educational video about the new crystalline silica rule for maritime and general industry that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/cxfYvqi1jIM.
To learn more about this or other air quality, occupational, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.